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Koko Pimentel opposes Senate probe on Duterte ‘bank accounts’

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday said the investigation sought by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on the alleged bank accounts of President Rodrigo Duterte would just be a “tragic waste of time.” 

In a text message, Pimentel said Trillanes appears to be targeting members of the First Family.

“Before, he tried it against Pulong Duterte and Mans Carpio. Now, it's the same thing against other members of the Duterte family. If he really has the evidence, then he should bring an actual case in the proper body,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel was referring to the time when Trillanes had former Davao City vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and his brother-in-law, lawyer Mans Carpio, invited to the Senate probe on Customs corruption.

Carpio is the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Trillanes filed a resolution seeking a a Senate investigation into the “possible violation” of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) by Duterte and his daughter, Sara.

Trillanes said the probe aims to “promote efficient compliance with the AMLA” and “further improve the said the law.”

But for Pimentel, such Senate probe “should not be allowed.”

“Senate is not the body for that. We are part of legislative action. But if this is part of just making this issue land in the news, then this should not be allowed. It will be a tragic waste of time by the Senate,” Pimentel said.

Pimentel is a close ally of President Duterte and president of the ruling party PDP-Laban. 

For his part, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, chairperson of the Senate banks committee, said he is willing to conduct the probe if the resolution is referred to his panel.

“It is my policy to hear all resolutions and bills referred to any of my committees. However, as to how far we can go would depend on the cooperation of the depositors concerned,” Escudero said.

“Without it, we will always be hitting a wall because of the bank secrecy law,” he pointed out. — RSJ, GMA News